February 25, 2000
Historians Appointed by the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group
College Park, MD. . . Dr. Michael Kurtz, Assistant Archivist at the National Archives and Chair of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group (IWG), announced today the appointment of two historical consultants who will advise the IWG regarding the historical context of the newly declassified materials to be made available under the auspices of Executive Order 13110.
The two historians are Dr. Richard Breitman and Dr. Timothy Naftali. They will serve as a resource for the IWG by providing information and analysis relating to the historical and institutional context of the documents. On behalf of the IWG, Dr. Kurtz said "Dr. Breitman and Dr. Naftali are eminent historians and will be an important asset in our effort to make these records known to the scholarly community and to the public at large. Their knowledge of this era and their understanding of the importance of new materials coming to light is unparalleled."
Richard Breitman is professor of history at American University and formerly chair of the History Department there. He is the author of five books, four of them related to the Holocaust. His most recent book is "Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew"(1998). Dr. Breitman is a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and he is editor of the scholarly journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Dr. Breitman received his B. A. from Yale and his M. A. and Ph.D. from Harvard.
Timothy Naftali is Director of the Program on Contemporary Political History at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs. He also heads the Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Project and Kremlin Decisionmaking Project. Widely published on intelligence and counterintelligence history, he is the co-author of "`One Hell of a Gamble': Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-1964". He is currently the Chief Editor of the first two volumes of the Kennedy Presidential Recordings Series. A graduate of Yale College, Dr. Naftali received an M.A. in international relations from The Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Harvard.
President Clinton established the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) in January 1999, through Executive Order 13110. The public members of the Working Group are: Elizabeth Holtzman, former Congresswoman from New York; Thomas Baer, head of Steinhardt Baer Pictures Company and Richard Ben-Veniste, a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. These members, as well as high-level representatives from seven Federal agencies, have been charged with locating, identifying, inventorying, recommending for declassification and making available all classified Nazi war criminal records, subject to specified restrictions. They must also coordinate with Federal agencies and expedite the release of such classified records to the public. The Executive Order states that the "National Archives and Records Administration shall provide the Working Group with funding, administrative services, facilities, staff, and other support services..."
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.